Love is in the air…

And the smell is in the house. As early in the season as it may seem for the northern hemisphere, February tends to be the awakening for many of the woodland creatures around our abode. While our home isn’t by any means in the wilderness, the temperate rainforest that is Tennessee means that the woods and forests are never far from any area that isn’t paved over or hosed down with herbicide. For the most part, it just makes for a nice environment for most creatures, including the humans.

As it happens, our neighborhood is one of the older subdivisions built in this East Tennessee suburban area. It’s located close enough to the downtown for events and supplies to be readily accessed, but it’s far enough outside the city limits to give us a break from double taxes (city and county) and provide a little less asphalt. We dig it… mostly.

So, sometime in the wee hours (this is a precise time measurement often invoked to read “middle of the damned night”), I was dragged from sleep. As it happens, I was actually dreaming that a skunk had made the unusual decision to make their home in my garage. In the dream, I was making my way from garage into the house, and the critter decided that the garage was nice, but our laundry room suited better. The resident feline rulers were not so pleased with a new roommate and thus confronted (still dreaming here). The distress of the whole situation and expected outcomes dragged me from my somnolent state into full wakefulness to find… SKUNK!!!

This was not so much an actual furry creature, but it’s presence was enough to make the eyes water (had they not been semi crusted with sleep still). I was also confronted with a husband that seemed more grumpy than might be warranted in the middle of the pre-dawn. He was standing by the bed and generally grumbling. At this point, I believe that I may have made some attempt to communicate with a mumbled “uh… skunk.” To which, the grumpy old man standing next to the bed informed me that there were “teenager skunks” pornographically romping in the yard out front. Apparently, he felt this to be the primary source of the Eau de Pepe, and he pulled a classic “You kinky kids get off my lawn!” I don’t think they took well to the interruption, and certainly it did not decrease or resolve the aroma issue.

In general, I don’t have issues with skunks in the wild. They eat yellow jacket grubs and other pests. They are cute, and for the most part, they are harmless if unmolested. The one weapon for which they are famous is a Barney Fife response (only one bullet), and it takes a while for them to recharge. However… boy howdy if they decide to actually use it.

For the most part, we live and let live, but the Spring (albeit extremely early to call it so) always brings about the season of LOVE for our little black and white friends. So, I’ll resolve myself to a slight headache for the time being and hopefully none of them will actually elect to make my garage their love nest.

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